We’re often reminded that marketing always starts with your product or service. If you don’t have an outstanding product or service, no amount of marketing is going to get you to or keep you at the top. Recently, I had a wonderful reminder of this lesson. I needed a haircut. If you know me and how little hair I have, you know that this is not a complicated task. In this situation, however, my service provider (a franchisee of a very well-known company) managed to strike the kind of fear in me that you only see in 5-year-old boys who have the completely irrational fear of having a haircut.
Here’s how it went. I walked in, and there were about six stylists walking around, none of whom had a client at the moment. There was one, though, who stuck out. She appeared to be in a daze, looking at the ceiling and almost walking around in circles…she really seemed out of it. I had already given my name at the register. So, I stood there looking at the stylist options before me, hoping that Ms. Dazed was NOT going to be my stylist that afternoon. Well, as luck would have it, guess who ambled up to the register next. OMG, this was not my day.
So, she asked me the first tough question. “So, is there something I can help you with?” I responded that I needed a haircut. She walked me back to her chair.
Now, I had quite a bit work left in my day, so I asked that she put a towel around my neck before she put the cape on to keep the hair from going down my back. Maybe I’m crazy, but I hate the itchy hair down my back. She looked at me totally confused. (OMG #2.) She walks away, and ambles back with a towel, throws it around my neck, and asked me if that was right. Why is she asking me? Hasn’t she ever dealt with this before? I replied, yes, that will work. Then, she grabs a cape and leaves plenty of space above the towel and snaps it. Will that do? (Are you crazy?) I responded that usually it works best to make the cape go around the towel and snap it over the towel, not above the towel. Now, I’m really getting nervous. She made a real attempt to do this, but failed. She asked if that was good. By this time, I had given into the fact that I was going to have plenty of hair down my back. This was not going to be worth explaining. “Sure, that’ll be fine.”
Then, she asked me how I want my hair cut. I explained. She came back with the right buzzer number, then asked me a second time how she should cut my hair. Is this woman on drugs, I wonder? Then, she starts buzzing. OK, so now I’m pretty nervous. If this wasn’t bad enough, she begins talking to someone, while looking in the direction of the person she’s speaking to. Need I say that she was looking completely away from me, while still cutting my hair!
And so it went. She was confused about how to shave down the top. She dug the buzzer around the base of my neck, which was probably sore for 2 days, etc. To top it all off, she smiled and asked me if she could give me her card when we were all done. I thought, “You must be crazy.” But answered, “I know where to find you, thanks.”
So, before you ever market your product or service, always remember to make sure you’re doing whatever you can to deliver the best product or service possible. And be sure your staff is trained. As for my hair? Well, thank goodness, it’s time for a new haircut. I’ll be going back to my old stylist, thank you very much.